Civil Service positions
The majority of PFBC positions are covered under Civil Service. For these positions, an applicant
must complete a Civil Service application and successfully compete in an examination program to be
placed on an employment list for the job classification for which the applicant applied. When a job
vacancy occurs, interviews are conducted with the highest-ranking scorers on the Civil Service
referral list. Applications and a summary of current examinations are available on the Civil Service
Commission’s web site, www.scsc.state.pa.us,
or by contacting one of the three state Civil Service Commission’s regional offices at: Harrisburg,
717-783-3058; Pittsburgh, 412-565-7666; or Philadelphia, 215-560-2253.
positions with the PFBC include:
Waterways Conservation Officers
Our officers are hired as Waterways Conservation Officer trainees who are required to
complete an extensive one-year program that includes about 20 weeks of training in law enforcement
principles and practices by a contracted, certified training institution; 20 weeks of classroom
training conducted by PFBC staff at the HR Stackhouse School of Fisheries and Watercraft Safety; 7
weeks of field training assignments in various regions of the state under the direction of
experienced officers; and 5 weeks of on-the-job evaluated training while assigned to a specific
Classroom training covers fish and boat laws and
regulations, watercraft safety, land and water management, fish propagation, fisheries biology and
conservation, weapons use, physical training and public relations. After successfully completing the
training program, cadets are promoted to Waterways Conservation Officers (WCOs). Currently, the PFBC
employs about 80 male and female officers.
WCOs perform specialized work in fisheries conservation and
watercraft safety under the jurisdiction of the Fish & Boat Commission. Typical duties include
patrolling by foot, car and boat to detect violators; pursuing and apprehending violators; issuing
citations or field acknowledgement receipts; serving warrants; presenting evidence at hearings and
court proceedings; investigating water pollution incidents; and stocking fish. Officers also make public
appearances to conduct classes and provide information regarding PFBC services, laws and regulations.
Extensive daily travel is required. Each applicant must be a Pennsylvania resident, possess a valid PA
driver’s license, be of good moral character and be at least 21 years of age.
Pennsylvania has more than 4,000 miles of coldwater streams and more than 8,000 miles of warmwater
streams and rivers. Many streams, rivers and lakes are stocked with fish raised by the PFBC. The
Commission operates 14 major fish culture stations (hatcheries) statewide that produce more than 100
million fish annually. The Bureau of Fisheries employs both permanent and seasonal staff.
Fish Culturists 1 are usually hired as seasonal workers (March to November), which could lead to
a permanent position as openings occur. Employees participate in structured on-the-job training to
develop a working knowledge and proficiency in the technical methods and procedures used in fish culture
including: netting, sorting, grading, and weighing techniques; feeding, sampling, testing, inspection
and treatment methodologies; extraction, fertilization, hatching, incubation and rearing practices and
procedures. Fish culturists also perform semi-skilled construction and maintenance work on buildings,
equipment and facilities.
Employees must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License that
permits the operation of vehicles of 26,000 pounds or more during the training period. After successful
completion of the one-year training period, a Fish Culturist 1 is promoted to a Fish Culturist 2. Each
applicant must be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid PA driver’s license.
Fisheries Technicians perform technical work in the field of fisheries biology. As team members,
they collect samples of various species of fish and other aquatic life, test water quality, determine
physical characteristics of waterways including the stream bottom composition, administer questionnaires
to aquatic resource users, prepare field notes, organize and analyze data and prepare technical reports.
Applicants must have two years of experience performing limited technical and semi-skilled manual work
in the field of fisheries biology; or two years of experience as a Fish Culturist 1; or two years of
college that included nine credits in biology or a related science; or an equivalent combination of
experience and training; and possess a valid PA driver’s license.
The PFBC employs levels of biologists ranging from Fisheries Biologist 1 to Fisheries Biologist
5. Most PFBC biologists are hired as Fisheries Biologists 1. This is beginning-level professional work
in fisheries research or fisheries management. Assignments are selected to provide experience in the
practical application of theories, procedures and methods used in fisheries biology. Fisheries
Biologists 1 assist higher-level biologists in conducting studies, investigations and research projects
by gathering and analyzing data, formulating recommendations and writing reports of findings. They also
make microscopic and laboratory analyses of biological samples to identify, classify and isolate
species. Fisheries biologists conduct investigations of fish kills and/or pollution problems and testify
at legal proceedings. Fisheries biologists also speak before various groups and workshops such as
sportsmen and conservation organizations, schools, civic clubs and professional organizations on
subjects related to fisheries biology.
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree with a major in a
biological science including or supplemented by a minimum of nine credits in the field of aquatic
biology, aquatic ecology, fisheries biology or an equivalent field. Possession of a valid PA driver’s
license is also required.
The PFBC also includes non-Civil Service positions
statewide. You can apply for non-civil service employment at www.employment.pa.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, visit your local library or call 1.866.858.2753 to find a PA CareerLink near you.
positions with the PFBC include:
Laborers are hired seasonally, generally March through October. Most of these positions are
located in one of several maintenance districts, consisting of multiple counties statewide. The duties
include both light and heavy manual laboring tasks, often of a repetitive nature. No previous experience
or training is required.
Semi-Skilled Laborers are also hired seasonally, mostly March through October. However, these
positions are assigned to the construction crews, which require extensive travel statewide. Duties
include semi-skilled manual work in the construction and maintenance of projects for the PFBC. One year
of experience in laboring work including the use of tools and equipment used in maintenance or
construction is required.
Our Equipment Operators perform skilled work in the operation of specialized equipment and/or
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 32,001 pounds or more. Equipment Operators also perform manual
work on assigned projects including loading and unloading trucks, minor repairs and preventive
maintenance, and assisting automotive mechanics in making major repairs to equipment. A valid PA
driver’s license is required.
The PFBC employs a small clerical staff consisting of clerks and clerk typists. Most of the clerical
personnel are located in the Harrisburg headquarters building with the remainder located at our Pleasant
Gap facility. Each fish culture station and regional law enforcement office also employs a clerical
Clerks are hired either in a seasonal or permanent capacity. Duties vary depending on the agency
bureau to which one is assigned, and may include document processing, data entry, arithmetic
calculations, coding, and assisting the public in completion of forms.
Clerk Typists are responsible for typing correspondence, reports and other documents. They also
perform additional clerical functions such as answering the telephone for a multi-person office, filing,
ordering supplies and similar duties.
The Divisions of Fisheries Management and Research use Fisheries Biologist Aide positions to
accomplish various field activities such as sampling fish populations, water chemistry analysis, taking
biological data from fish, equipment maintenance and data entry. These positions are seasonal and are
compensated with an hourly salary.
To be considered for these positions, you must be a graduate
or enrolled in a curriculum in fisheries or a closely related field. Applicants must also possess a
valid PA driver’s license. To apply for these positions, you must submit a Non-Civil Service Personal
Data Sheet and resume directly to the PFBC Human Resources Office.
The Division of Fisheries Management also offers unpaid internships for undergraduate students
seeking “hands-on” experience. Students in this program must take the internship for college credit,
have the approval of their advisor, and have the means to provide transportation to and from the work
Questions regarding employment opportunities with the PA Fish & Boat Commission should be directed to
the Human Resource Office at 717-705-7820, via e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing: PA Fish & Boat Commission, Human Resources Office, P.O. Box
67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.